Several statewide races could get competitive as millions flow into campaigns

Several statewide races could get competitive as millions flow into campaigns
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Several of the races for statewide offices being vacated this year are becoming more competitive, with multiple candidates raising or loaning significant sums of money in the elections for attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer.

Liz Murrill, a top deputy to Attorney General Jeff Landry who is seeking to succeed him, raised half a million dollars during a campaign finance reporting period that ran from April to early July. She also had $1.4 million on hand, far outpacing her main opponent, state Rep. John Stefanski of Crowley. Stefanski raised $144,000 and had $677,000 on hand. Both are Republicans.

The race for attorney general drew the most donations of any race besides governor. Murrill is tapping into several of the same donors — and political consultants — as Landry, a gubernatorial candidate.

And a group tied to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which is close to Landry and which came under fire for sending robocalls to people ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, spent $165,000 supporting Murrill. The group launched an attack ad against Stefanski highlighting his support for bipartisan criminal justice reforms passed in 2017. The digital ad, paid by the Louisiana Freedom Fund, tagged him as “set ‘em free Stefanski.”

Stefanski’s campaign strategist Lionel Rainey called the ad “absurd,” citing Stefanski’s “pro-law enforcement” voting record. He said the group, based in D.C., was formerly led by Murrill’s boss, Landry, and is “trying to buy this election for her.” 

“People in Louisiana typically don’t like that,” he said. “We’ll see how that works out for her in the end.” 

Murrill said in a statement this week her fundraising prowess is “unmatched,” and touted several endorsements. 

Marty Maley, an independent, is also running and had $26,000 on hand. John Belton, district attorney in Union Parish, dropped out of the race. 

Secretary of state race heats up

Aside from the attorney general’s race, two other races are expected to get competitive.

With Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin stepping down at the end of his term, three high-profile Republicans — House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, Public Service Commissioner Mike Francis and former state Rep. Nancy Landry — are running to replace him.

Schexnayder led the pack in fundraising, taking in $124,000 and posting $773,000 on hand. But Francis, a retired oil and gas executive, loaned his campaign $300,000 during the period, giving him the ability to compete. Landry, who works for Ardoin as a top deputy, got a late start and posted $93,000 on hand. Brandon Trosclair, a Republican who has embraced claims of widespread voter fraud, is also running and raised the least of the four.

Gwen Collins Greenup, a Democrat who advanced to a runoff in the last secretary of state race, has not raised a significant amount of money.

Money flows to treasurer’s race

State Rep. Scott McKnight, R-Baton Rouge, led the field in fundraising in the treasurer’s race, raising $160,000 during the period. He also had about $700,000 on hand. Dustin Granger, the main Democrat running with the backing of Gov. John Bel Edwards, raised $45,000 and had $30,000 on hand.

But John Fleming, a former congressman, could be a wild card in the race. Fleming raised under $70,000, but loaned his campaign $240,000, giving him $400,000 to spend.

The treasurer’s office is being vacated by John Schroder, who is running for governor. Schroder has put the office in the middle of a national political battle over environmental, social and governance policies, which are investment decisions that companies make that take into consideration factors like climate change.

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About Mary Weyand 12339 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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